5 Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Kayak on eBay

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5 Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Kayak on eBay

Kayaks are small, enclosed boats that have seats for either one or two people. Users propel the kayaks using a double-sided paddle, which requires quite a bit of upper body strength. There are several different types of kayaks, each of which differs slightly in body shape, storage space, and number of passengers. The body shape affects the manoeuvrability and stability of the craft, which makes certain types of kayaks better suited to specific types of kayaking.

When shopping for a kayak, prospective buyers must consider which type of kayak best suits their needs as well as how much storage space they may need and which other features they want to have on their kayak. Because of the myriad factors, prospective buyers should consider these five factors before buying a kayak on eBay.

A Brief History of the Kayak

The kayaks seen in the water today are nearly identical to historical kayaks, which were invented by the Inuit and Aleut tribes who lived in the arctic region of North America. These early kayaks were made of wood or a wooden frame covered with animal skin and had a space in the middle where the paddler sat. The Inuit and Aluet tribes used the kayaks for hunting because they were quiet and could move fast. In addition, kayaks are able to cut through icy waters better than other styles of boat, which is why they were popular in the arctic.

In 1845 Europeans began using kayaks for recreational purposes. Since 1950, there have been many improvements to the shape and functionality of the kayak. Today, there are several different types of kayaks, and they can be used in many different types of settings, including calm lakes, oceans, and rapidly moving rivers. Before making a purchasing decision, prospective buyers should learn about each type of kayak along with which features are typically offered and for which types of water each kayak is best suited.

1. Types of Kayaks

There are four main types of kayaks prospective buyers may find on eBay. Each of these kayaks are designed for a different type of kayaking so individuals should decide which type of kayaking they plan to do most. For beginners who may not know which type of kayaking they prefer, it is best to find a kayak that is suitable for smooth waters but can be used in other bodies of water.

Type of Kayak



Wide, flared hull provides stability in rougher, open water; ample storage space; ideal for long distances


Great deal of rocker; designed to navigate rapids with a short body and rounded hull; perfect for rolling and performing tricks; less stable than sea kayaks, but provides greater manoeuvrability


Similar to white-water kayaks, but only have a rocker on the bow side; hull is flat from side to side for quicker changes in direction; offers faster take-off speed


Easy to transport; lightweight; small turning radius; slower than other kayaks; requires more effort to paddle


In addition to deciding which type of kayaking a prospective buyer plans to do most, he or she must also consider kayak storage. As kayaks are quite large, they require quite a bit of storage space. Many kayakers store their kayaks in a garage or other large storage area and have racks on the tops of their vehicles to transport them. Individuals who live in apartments, or who lack storage space, may want to consider an inflatable kayak despite its drawbacks, because it can be folded up and tucked inside of a duffel bag for storing and transporting.

2. Passengers

Though many kayaks only seat one individual, there are some kayaks that allow two passengers. Individuals who plan to do a lot of tandem kayaking should definitely consider a double kayak; however, because these kayaks are larger, they are more difficult to manoeuvre and require more storage space. Individuals who plan to kayak solo most of the time or kayak with other individuals in separate kayaks should opt for the single kayak as they are less expensive, easier to manoeuvre, and take up less storage space.

3. Storage

Storage space is another factor that prospective buyers should consider, especially if they plan to take trips in their kayak. Many kayaks offer waterproof storage areas so that the cargo stays dry even in rainy weather and rough kayaking conditions. Often, the amount of storage space is related to the length of the kayak. Prospective buyers should keep this in mind if they are looking for a kayak with ample storage space. Sea kayaks are typically the longest and provide storage for overnight trips. While surf kayaks are actually longer than sea kayaks, they do not offer a lot of storage space. White-water kayaks offer some storage space, although it may not be enough for an overnight trip. Because of the design of the inflatable kayak, they typically offer the least amount of storage space.

4. Skill Level

The different types of kayaks require different levels of skill as does navigating the various types of waters. For example, white-water kayaking and sea kayaking are much more difficult than kayaking on a lake or slow-moving river. Beginners may want to opt for kayaks that are made for gentler water, though if they plan to eventually use a sea, surf, or white-water kayak, they may want to purchase one of those and learn how to use it in gentle water. This eliminates the need to buy two different kayaks once the beginner gains some skill in navigating rougher waters in the kayak.

5. Material

The type of material changes with the kayak. The different choices are: plastic, fibreglass, inflatable plastic, and fabric-with-frame. Plastic is the heaviest material but is relatively damage-resistant. Fibreglass is more efficient in the water because of its lighter weight; however, fibreglass is easily damaged. Inflatable plastic is suited for white-water and surfing conditions because it moves easily over the water. Fabric-with-frame materials are best for hiking because they can be collapsed and carried.

Shopping for a Kayak on eBay

When shopping for a kayak on eBay, prospective buyers should first determine which type of kayak they want to purchase as well as their price range and the features they want to have. Ideally, prospective buyers should also have an idea of the price range of the kayaks they are considering. This can help buyers to determine if they are getting a good deal on a kayaks and other outdoor goods on eBay.

Prospective buyers should also read through each listing carefully to determine what is included in the sale. For example, some kayaks may come with paddles, while others may not. Buyers may also want to take a look at the kayak accessories listed on eBay to see if there is anything they may need to purchase for their kayak, such as a seat cover with backrest. In addition, since protective gear is recommended, prospective buyers may also want to shop for life vests and helmets while on the site.

Buying a Kayak on eBay

If you want to take a look at the selection of kayaks on eBay, go to the site's home page and type "kayak" into the search box. Once the search results load, you can filter the listings using the filter options on the search results page. If you know which type of kayak you wish to purchase, you could add that to your search to reduce the number of listings to sort through. For example, if you want to purchase a sea kayak, type "sea kayak" into the search box for a more refined search.

Before making a purchasing decision, prospective buyers should read through each listing carefully to determine the type of kayak being sold, the manufacturer, and the other specifications so that they know if a particular kayak is right for them. If photos are provided, buyers should also check out the photographs to ensure they are happy with the kayak pictured. Prospective buyers may also want to take note of the seller's postage and handling price as well as the return policy, so they know if the kayak can be returned if they change their mind.


Purchasing a kayak does not have to be a confusing or overwhelming process, especially if prospective buyers do their homework and know what they want before they begin to shop. Knowing how to spot a good value can help prospective buyers find the right kayak at the best possible price. Because a kayak is a fairly expensive piece of sporting equipment, prospective buyers truly should do their due diligence to ensure that they are purchasing the right type of kayak for their needs as well as checking to see if additional accessories are included in the purchase or must be purchased separately. This information, along with the five factors listed above can help prospective buyers find the perfect kayak on eBay.

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